Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. To our foreign readers (apart from Canadians, who have their own Canadian Thanksgiving custom, but at a different date), the last Thursday in November is the day that has been set aside for giving thanks for all our blessings, in the tradition of some of our earliest white settlers at Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, did after surviving the winter of 1620-21. They probably survived in part because they landed in such an austere area that the local Indians, insted of stomping the settleent out, made common cause with the newcomers, because they were barley surviving, too.
It would be barely a couple of generations before the Indians and Englishmen were at each others throats, but in 1621 they were mostly getting along. Lets all try to do that, for one day. The day after we can begin strangling one another again.
In that spirit, WeaponsMan.com will be off its normal publishing schedule on Thanksgiving Day. Instead, please look at some of our back stories that may appeal to you (The Categories links may help), or take a look at the links on the top of the page for our Pages on Gun Design Books and Resources and our not-recently-updated Best of Weaponsman Gun Tech (we’ll take suggestions for either in the comments to this post).
Thanksgiving = Black Friday Gun Deals?
For some, the Thanksgiving Holiday is without religious or even historical significance. Instead, ir marks the brief pause before the onslaught of the Christmas shopping season. You know who you are. For those of you inclined to put a firearm in someone’s gun stocking (or maybe a gunsock in someone’s Christmas stocking, if you’re a cheapskate New Englander), you might want to check out Slick Guns’ Black Friday Deals Page. It’s not entirely comprehensive (we didn’t see Brownell’s which has a rolling menu of deals all week, for example) but it’s a good place to start.
Conversely, Gun-Deals.com has a pile of deals (as usual) but makes nothing out of Black Friday. AmmoSeek has a couple of coupons. Their gun deal search is worthless; search on “9mm Luger” for a 9mm handgun, for instance, and you get a lot of listing for bb guns and airsoft toys. God knows what you get if you search for that stuff; probably 9mm handguns.
Our message to many of those “deal” offerers: If your idea of a Black Friday Deal is 30% off your closeout 2015 logo t-shirt, don’t waste our time. (Springfield Armory USA, we’re lookin’ at you).
Our observation is that the present softness in the market has produced some very good bargains. We’ve seen S&W AR15s in the $500 neighborhood, Bushmasters below $600, and your local retailer might just have some Glocks at prices he can’t advertise (ours does). We’ve seen prices hundreds lower than last month on such disparate guns as the Auto-Ordnance M1 Carbine repros and the silencer-ready version of the CZ-75 SP01.
How do we have softness in the market, even though we continue to have sales at record or near-record levels? Let us don our Master’s Hood (which is totally a thing) and explain. Prices are a function of supply and demand. When demand went through the roof after political moves for gun control in 2012, and supply became exhausted or limited, prices rose. (In fact, they didn’t rise fast enough for the market to remain in equilibrium, producing shortages; but buyers heaped opprobrium on sellers who raised prices). These high prices incentivized people who were holding guns but not using them to sell, and (producing greater numbers of firearms on the supply side) incentivized producers to produce more guns. New production lines opened up; new products were released to production; new vendors piled on the production of such commodity products as AR-15 parts.
So now, in the holiday season of 2015, we have production capacity at a level it would have been at had demand kept rising nonstop at the unsustainable rates of 2012-13. But demand didn’t do that.
On the other hand, despite crowing from the anti-gun press, demand didn’t really recede much. We still, as we just said, “continue to have sales at record or near-record levels.” This reflects new shooters who have joined the gun market (and who will provide, long-term, exponential growth as they “infect” new shooters in turn). But the supply has increased by an even greater amount. Hence, softness in the market, or, a buyer’s market.